Posts Tagged 'utility'

Control Panel Replacement – FreeFile Review

neupanel-logo1

nuePanel is an application that attempts to organize many of the settings available in Windows. The sheer number of tools, Control Panel apps, and settings in Windows make that a daunting task, but neuPanel does a very good job of cutting through the clutter.

The Good – It appears that every possible Windows setting is available. The interface is simple, with rows of buttons in the main window and tabs across the top. The buttons are in alphabetical order, which speeds up finding things. ‘God Mode’ is available as ‘Control Panel (God Mode)’ under the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab.

The Bad – A few of the command buttons don’t work (they report ‘cannot find the file specified’). Finding what you want can still take a little time, due to the quantity of buttons available.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I’ve found neuPanel to be a timesaver. It provides one location to find the setting you need. This gets more valuable as Microsoft hides more and more settings. Most Windows users should find neuPanel useful.

Download neuPanel HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Easy Context Menu – FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logoEConMenuEasy Context Menu adds several useful options to Windows context (right-click) menus. Basically, it puts some of Windows most useful tools just a right-click away. It may not be for the casual Windows user, but it is simple enough that anyone can use it. It is Windows only.

Easy Context Menu requires no installation; just unzip and run. Its simple interface is has seven sections – five for the various context menu types and two for additional sub menus. Adding menu items is very easy. Simply select the check box for an item and click the ‘Apply Changes’ button (green plus sign/mouse icon), and the item is added to the context menu. Options for each item include show/hide an icon for the item, enable shift-click, and to position the item top/middle/bottom on the context menu. Right click the item (in Easy Context Menu’s window) to edit these options. The two sub menus are very useful. One, has the shut down options from the start menu. The other sub menu, System Tools, allow you to select up to 14 tools to be on one sub menu. Tool options include : MSconfig, Control Panel, Sticky Notes, Clipping Tool, RegEdit and more. A favorite tweak of mine is hidden under the Tools menu. It allows the removal of arrows and “Shortcut to” from all shortcuts.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

Easy Context Menu performed flawlessly on Windows 7. If you enjoy tweaking Windows, Easy Context Menu is an excellent tool.

Download HERE – scroll down, look for white “Download” button
or direct download from SnapFiles.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

FreeFile Review – Invisible Utilities

What is an invisible utility? My definition is a Windows application that is completely unobtrusive; transparent to the user, when not needed, but is quickly available via the context menu (right click) when needed. And most importantly, it must provide something that Windows does not. this review will cover three such utilities that I have used for several years –  Eraser – 7-Zip – Unlocker.

Eraser will securely delete any file on your PC. Normally when a file is deleted, it still exists on your hard drive. To truly remove a file, it must be overwritten – that is what Eraser does. Once installed, several Preferences can be set by the user. The most important setting is for the number of times a file will be overwritten – 1, 3, 7 or 35 times. I choose 3x – for speed – and I also disable Scheduled Tasks. To use Eraser, simply right-click on a file and select ‘Erase’, click ‘Yes’ and the file is permanently gone. The contents of the Recycle Bin can be erased also. Right-clicking the Recycle Bin icon gives a list of erasing options.

7-Zip is for opening archive files – about 25 different formats. Windows will open .zip files, but no other archive types. 7-Zip will open .rar, .iso and many others. To use, right-click on an archive file and select ‘7-Zip’ and then ‘Extract files’ (or ‘Extract Here’), click ‘OK’ and 7-Zip does its thing. Most users will not need this application often, but it is handy to have on your computer. 7-Zip is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

Unlocker is a lifesaver when Windows refuses to let you do anything to a file because some program has control of the file. To use, right-click on the locked file and select ‘Unlocker’. In the Unlocker window, select the locked file and click the ‘Unlock’ button. Usually, this does the trick. If the file is still locked, try the ‘Kill Process’ button. It can be difficult to find a download link for Unlocker – here is a good one. Be aware that Unlocker is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

All three of these utilities are simple to use and effective. They have been part of my Windows PCs for years and I appreciate them on the rare occasions when they are needed. While many similar programs exist, I find these three to be solid performers.

Download Eraser

Download 7-Zip

Download Unlocker

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